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April Gardening To-Do List

Updated on April 03, 2024

Spring has sprung! Get outside and savor the sights and scents of the season by tackling this month’s garden chores. Use our list to help curate your own.

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Add Spring Perennials

Do your garden beds need some early spring bloomers? Visit garden centers and nurseries now to see what you can find that’s flowering. Options include breathtaking beauties like bleeding heart (above), primroses, basket-of-gold and candytuft.

Or you might opt for ephemerals, plants that paint spring landscapes with pretty blossoms and disappear with summer’s arrival. Many spring ephemerals are native wildflowers that provide good food sources for pollinators. Options include Virginia bluebells, shooting star, mayapple and trillium.

more of our favorite spring blooming perennials

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Photo: Julie Martens Forney

Stake Daffodils

Spring rains can batter pretty daffodils, even breaking stems so flowers end up in the mulch. To keep this from happening, insert some kind of stake near a daffodil clump to help keep stems upright. Use short ring stakes or shrub and tree prunings that are pliable and can be bent into arches with ends held in place by soil. Pruned stems that work well include fruit trees, such as apple, pear, cherry or fig, and coppiced shrubs, like red or yellow twig dogwood.

more about planting and growing daffodils

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Deal With Dandelions

If you have just a few dandelions in your lawn, you might try digging them after a rain, when soil is moist and taproots should come up easily. Otherwise, try weed-killing sprays that target weeds, not grass. To enhance the spray’s effectiveness, scuff the weed with your shoe, breaking up the leaves a bit before spraying. This creates more openings for spray to enter and often yields a quicker kill.

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Prune Summer Blooming Shrubs

Early spring is the time to prune summer-flowering shrubs, ones that bloom after June 1. Southern gardeners did this task in February. Northern gardeners who often experience hard freezes in March should do it now. The list includes butterfly bush, rose of Sharon, blue mist spirea (Caryopteris) and summersweet. Clip stems back by one-third to control height and still keep the shrub looking natural. Place cuts just above a bud to encourage branching.

11 plants you should never prune in early spring

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